The Best All You Can Eat Deals In And Around D.C.

There’s nothing dignified about the all-you-can-eat deal, and that’s just fine with us. The goal—be it bottomless brunch, Indian buffet lunch, or an endless sushi dinner—is to consume enough to make it worth the money. Here are our favorite places (and some tips on how to enjoy them) when we’re feeling ambitious, and ready to be very full. Put on the stretchy pants and dig in.

CUBA LIBRE: This is always kind of a mind-bending brunch experience for me. The interior, which is designed to look like a Disney-fied version of a Cuban street or courtyard, is total kitsch, and makes me slightly suspicious every time I visit that my experience is going to be a let down. Despite this, I do visit, surprisingly often in fact, and have yet to be disappointed. The food is fresh, nicely prepared, and service tends to be both speedy and attentive. This is particularly key when you consider that the best way to handle an unlimited meal is to order dishes in waves. A few tips will further enhance your experience: 1) skip the bread basket, which will appear regardless of whether you order it. The breadbasket will fill you up, diverting you from more interesting options, and thus is for suckers 2) skip the ceviches, as they require an additional $2 surcharge per item (there’s more than enough to eat without them) 3) order the Cafe Cuba Libre, which comes with steamed coconut milk and is the best coffee drink ever invented 4) make a reservation for exactly when they open at 11:30. Do not arrive later. Do not arrive without a reservation. Cuba Libre’s unlimited tapas brunch seats from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Food cost is $28.50/person, with the addition of unlimited drinks for a surcharge of $16.50/person. The entire table must participate.—Jacob Dean

Cuba Libre is located at 801 9th Street NW

SUSHI PARA: Repeat after me: all-you-can-eat sushi for $19.99. And we’re not just talking California rolls and tekka maki. This deal includes specialty rolls like the rainbow roll and straight-up sushi, as well as appetizers like miso soup, shumai, and veggie tempura. Sure, there are a few add ons that generally cost about a dollar or so extra, but the world is generally your oyster here. The only catch is that you have to pay for whatever you don’t eat. Because you can reorder whenever you’d like, though, it’s very easy to pace yourself and avoid getting charged. Is it the freshest, most inventive sushi you’ve eaten? No, but it’s about on par, quality-wise, with Whole Foods offerings. Come here on the early side, because it gets packed, and stay as long as your stomach can stand it.—Rachel Kurzius

Sushi Para is located at 4221 Connecticut Ave NW

MASA 14: There is an age-old brunch dilemma, and it is the question of whether to order something sweet or savory. Luckily, at Masa 14, you don’t have to choose—literally. The restaurant’s $39 pre fixe brunch special will net you unlimited tapas and brunch cocktails, so you can eat and drink yourself into a coma by trying everything on the menu. Expect Masa 14’s signature Asian-Latin twist on brunch dishes, like lychee bellinis, bacon fried rice with kimchi, breakfast tacos, and chilaquiles. —Alicia Mazzara

Masa 14 is located at 1825 14th Street NW

el centro

EL CENTRO: El Centro’s bottomless brunch is not for the lighthearted. For $35 on Saturdays and Sundays, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. (two hour time limit per table), you can settle in to unlimited small plates and brunch cocktails. The key here, aside from the cuisine, is the quality of the brunch cocktails. Sure, you can find brunch standards like the mimosa and Bloody Mary. But also among the unlimited options are micheladas, spiked seasonal agua frescas, and the El Centro margarita. Paired with a lengthy menu that’s full of gold mines (hello, breakfast enchilada and mexican breakfast torta), eat and drink to your heart’s content.—before you stumble home for a well-deserved nap. —Elizabeth Traynor

El Centro is located at 1819 14th Street NW

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